Oregon and Apple Test Vote-by-iPad with Disabled Voters

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    The Associated Press reports that Apple has donated five iPads to the state of Oregon in support of a pilot program to help disabled voters more easily fill out their election ballots. Combined with a $75,000 investment by the state for software development, the iPads allow voters to adjust font size and screen colors to help them read the ballots, among other accessibility improvements made possible by a shift to digital technology.
    Rather than filing votes electronically, the iPads are connected to portable printers, which print out the completed ballots for signing and mailing. Since the passage of a 1998 measure, all Oregon elections have utilized vote-by-mail as the primary mechanism for submitting ballots, allowing the iPad-generated ballots to be easily integrated into the existing system.

    Oregon election officials believe that a full-scale program would require a total of 72 iPads to offer two devices per county. At a total cost of $36,000 for the 72 devices, the program would compare favorably to the state's current $325,000 yearly budget for maintaining voting tools accessible to the disabled.

    Article Link: Oregon and Apple Test Vote-by-iPad with Disabled Voters
  2. macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2011
    Scottsdale, AZ
    When I lived in the Beaver State, I was always pleased by the way government and the population tried to make life easier for people with special needs. It often does not take massive investment, just brains and common decency. Oregon is an all mail-in ballot state but for a small number of people who can't mark ballots easily, this seems to offer some real promise and it's cool to see Apple in there trying to help.
  3. macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2007
    Hooper, UT
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_7_2) AppleWebKit/534.51.22 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1.1 Safari/534.51.22)

    This could potentially be HUGE for the iPad. Every 4 years apple sells 200,000 million iPads for Voting use! I say SWEET!
  4. macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2009
    Having just filled out my paper Oregon ballot yesterday, I can see how the iPad could help with accessibility for marking a ballot form and then printing it out for mailing/dropbox and having that all important paper trail. This could also go beyond the iPad to feasibly a Mac or an Apple TV (console or current set top box), as Apple can put its accessibility features on all of those devices. Imagine a Thunderbolt display or 47" flat panel displaying the ballot with very large, sharp text and thus not having to scroll around even on an iPad screen.

    Due diligence has to be put on the election official to prove to the disabled voter that the paper ballot printout MATCHES EXACTLY with their intent with the device. We would hate to have the voting machine naysayers call foul if it doesn't work. Still with voting, a paper receipt with a unique ID has to be the ultimate deliverable.
  5. macrumors 65816

    Drunken Master

    Jul 19, 2011
    It's smart too; an iPad may seem pricey but voting machines are way more expensive and clunky.
  6. macrumors demi-god


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Is EVERYTHING about money??!

    Interesting point, well stated.:)

    (Why does it make me think of Florida in 2000?):rolleyes:
  7. macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2009
    Yes, FL in 2000 - but at least those were paper (albeit poorly designed paper). I am thinking more about Ohio in 2004 where thousands of miscounted voting machine votes went missing, were overstated or understated...and the rest is painful history.

    Imagine if Siri was also incorporated into this implementation. Apple could accommodate the sight-, hearing-, speech- and motor skill-impaired voter with further development.
  8. macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I just moved here and I'm so glad OR is avoiding the diebold voting machines (from Texas, of course) that were total crap.
    Also, anything that helps the disabled make it easier to vote is a +1 for me.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2010
    re original article

    hanging or dangling chad - be gone
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Printer & Software Specs Please

    What wireless portable printer and software are they using in Oregon?

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